HeroineFest

Our zine mates Heroine organised their own festival as part of the Flux celebrations, and asked QOTT to do a workshop. Those grrls are on fire! QOTT decided to offer a mini-zine workshop:

We love sticking and cutting, and the discussions that take place as people craft their zines. And some beautiful zines were created:

GLITTER, GLUE and DIY love, and Freida the Feminist Cat

We learnt How To Be A Tree And Other Plants (watch out for pesky vegans)

and of course a zine about zines

We also met Chapess IRL and bought extra copies of their very enviable zine

After our own workshop we looked at books from Liverpool’s all female co-op News From Nowhere, and went to an amazing Period Positive talk and craft session with Chella Quint, comedian, researcher and Tedex hero. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kce4VxEgTAM

Chella cuts through any shame about leaking blood through your knickers, and kicks the ass of advertising bullshit, while highlighting re-useable period products, like QOTT favourite the holy MOONCUP . 

AND WHILE ALL THIS WAS GOING ON WHERE WAS LESTRANGE? (one third of the QOTT team) The creepy one was at HyperJapan, and is drafting her write up as we speak, did she get a free wig? eat vegan sushi, and pick up extra Japanese vocab? we’re not sure, but like you we’re waiting to find out…

 

Sunday Round-Up !

Happy Sunday hyenas ! Are you ready to check out whats been happening in the world this week ?

Often, its difficult to remain optimistic in the face of all the negativity of the week just gone. However, here at QOTT, we don’t want you guys to feel like it’s all doom and gloom. What better way to do this than to talk about the completely hilarious, merciless trolling of Robin Thicke over on twitter this week. King of Sleaze Thicke’s PR team decided it’d be a fantastic idea to set up a Q&A session on the VH1 Twitter page, where users could ask any question they liked using the hashtag #AskThicke. 

The response was as amazing as you’re anticipating it to be. Here are some of our favourites !

AMAZING ! 

Our witches Flis and Hank are checking out the celebrations for the opening weekend of Liverpool 2014 Biennial, over at The Black-E this evening ! Word has it they’re particularly excited for the performance by CHRISTEENE, an artist who infuses rap and vile shamelessness into super stylised music videos and destructive choreography.  

Reports from live shows describe scenes involving butt plugs tied to bouquets of balloons being released into the air from CHRISTEENE’s arse, intimate and bizarre confessionals over tea, backup boys in handmade Panda masks urinating on canvas sacks containing the singer, and a DIY anti-fashion wardrobe styled from the forgotten scraps of society.” Sounds amazing, right ? Keep your eyes peeled for a blog update to commemorate this experience later on this week !


Always ran this awesome ad this week, which quickly went viral across social networking sites. Using the hashtag #LikeAGirl, Always encourages everyone to think about normalised sexist language, and who it really hurts. It’s pretty powerful, check it out.


Speaking of fighting like a girl, who else was beside themselves at the revival of Sailor Moon this weekend with the first new series since 1996, titled Sailor Moon Crystal ?! Kawaii feminist hero for girls of all ages, Serena returns to screens, featuring a completely new opening theme highlighting how this team of justice-defending Sailor Scouts are smashing tropes with the lyrics “We are not helpless girls who need mens protection”. Pretty great for any little girl (or boy) to be watching, right ?  


The Sun once again reared its ugly head this week with it’s so-called “investigation” into partying in Magaluf - aka a giant article that bullies and shames girls exclusively with absolutely no regard for the consequences of publishing them in a national newspaper. This was a particularly horrible feature, even for The Sun, but it did spark these two fantastic articles which are defiantly worth a read : Beware the Stark Warning to Women by Guardian journalist Holly Baxter and Magaluf Girl by everydayvictimblaming.com user seja75

Finally, ever wanted an amazing knitted hat with the words “feminist killjoy” worked into it ? Well then your prayers have been answered. Ravelry store Feminist Fibres currently have a ton of amazing patterns up for sale, so you can knit one of your very own. I’m having trouble choosing between these two, personally.

The Biennial Schedule- don’t be confused!

We love love love the Biennial, and really how could you not? The whole of Liverpool turns into an art party for the weekend, followed by months of artist talks, events and other delights. We’re also ultra eager to see what new director and QOTT hero Sally Tallant has done with the Biennial. So here it is don’t be confused- do go to everything! Have fun people- IT’S HERE!

OPENING PROGRAMME
Press & Professional Previews
Thursday 3 July
10am-6pm Exhibition venues open for Professional Previews
The Old Blind School, FACT, the Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool
10am-6pm Registration open
The Old Blind School, 24 Hardman Street, L1 9AX
11.00am, 12.30pm Dazzle Ship: Tours of the Edmund Gardner
2.30pm Canning Graving Dock, Liverpool Waterfront


Friday 4 July
10am-9pm Exhibition venues open for Professional Previews
The Old Blind School, FACT, the Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool
10am-9pm Registration open
The Old Blind School, 24 Hardman Street, L1 9AX
11.30am-12.30pm The Business of Art: An event hosted by Arts Council England,
BBC and LARC / Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront
3pm Official Opening Speeches by Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool,
and Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England
The Everyman, 5-11 Hope Street, L1 9BH
4pm Group Show Private View
The Old Blind School, 24 Hardman Street, L1 9AX
4.30pm Adrian Henri Exhibition Private View
LJMU’s Exhibition Research Centre, John Lennon School of Art &
Design, Duckinfield Street, L3 5RD
5pm Sharon Lockhart Private View (Young People are especially
welcome)
FACT, 88 Wood Street, L1 4DQ
6pm John Moores Painting Prize Private View
Walker Art Gallery, William Brown St, Liverpool L3 8EL
6-8pm Not All Documents Are Records Private View
Open Eye Gallery, 19 Mann Island, L3 1BP
7pm James McNeill Whistler Private View
the Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX
9pm Opening Party
Camp and Furnace, 67 Greenland Street
Open to the Public


Saturday 5 July
10am-6pm All venues open to the public
The Old Blind School, FACT, the Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool, Walker
Art Gallery, Open Eye Gallery (10.30am – 5.30pm), LJMU’s
Exhibition Research Centre
10.30am AICA Critics’ Forum
the Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX
12.00pm Margaret MacDonald Talk on James McNeill Whistler
the Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX
1-4pm Artist Talks hosted by Mai Abu ElDahab and Anthony Huberman
Liverpool Medical Institution, 114 Mount Pleasant, L3 5SR
2.30pm Curator Tour of Adrian Henri exhibition with Catherine Marcangeli
LJMU’s Exhibition Research Centre, Duckinfield Street, L3 5RD
7.30pm Symphony No.11: Hillsborough Memorial by Michael Nyman
Liverpool Cathedral, St. James Mount, L1 7AZ
£10 / Tickets available from www.liverpoolphil.com
Sunday 6 July
10am-6pm All venues open to the public
The Old Blind School, FACT, the Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool, Walker
Art Gallery, Open Eye Gallery (10.30am – 5.30pm), LJMU’s
Exhibition Research Centre
11.45am Brunch and Artist Talk
Open Eye Gallery, 19 Mann Island, L3 1BP
£10/£8 cons, booking essential
2.30pm Curator Tour of Adrian Henri exhibition with Catherine Marcangeli
LJMU’s Exhibition Research Centre, Duckinfield Street, L3 5RD
Please check www.biennial.com for advice on accommodation.

Sunday Round-Up !

This week, we heard the news that human rights activist and MAMA member Naome Kakunguwo had been detained at Yarl’s Wood after being issued with removal directions. She was taken away from her family, given no time to make any arrangements or even say goodbye to her grandchildren and daughter, and was set to be flown out of the country just a few days later. Illegally, Naome was denied access to legal representation. 

Naome’s friends at MAMA quickly launched the All Grans Matter campaign (https://www.facebook.com/groups/300930176741724/?fref=ts), encouraging people to take to social media platforms and raise the profile of her case. After a tense 48 hours, we heard the amazing news that Naome’s removal directions had been cancelled and she had been returned safely to her family, where she belongs ! 

We were all overjoyed for the women at MAMA and for Naome herself at hearing this incredible news. 

On Saturday, Flis and I visited MAMA in the International Slavery Museum to join in their banner making workshop, and see their choir perform - which was moving and inspirational, as always ! 

We also had the opportunity to join in the All Grans Matter campaign by being invited to write about our own grandmothers, and remember why the are such important members of our families.

You can join the All Grans Matter page on Facebook, and submit your own photos for the campaign. 

This week was Cephalopod week (http://oceana.org/en/blog/2014/06/photos-happy-cephalopod-week) ! Cephalopods are awesome, sea-dwelling creatures whose family includes squid, octopus and cuttlefish. At QOTT, we love these creepy cuties and all the awesome things they can do - check out this gnarly Mimic Octopus !

image

Hank sent us this amazing spoken word piece by the amazing Dominique Christina entitled “The Period Poem”, inspired by a display of incredible douchebaggery on Twitter. Check it out. 

We’re loving the work of feminist graffiti artist Starchild Stela this week. You can read this rad interview with her over at jessicapabon.com or even get yourselves some of her stickers from her store

Finally, all claws over at QOTT HQ have been hella fluro this week, we have ALL been loving the magic of neon nail polishes. Slime green is my current personal favourite.

Update: Celebration! All Grans Matter Victory!

Naome Kakungguwo has had her directions for removal cancelled, so she’s coming back, safe where she belongs, straight into the centre of her family and her community.

Thanks you to everyone who helped  by sharing and writing. You can keep up with MAMA through their fb page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Migrant-Artists-Mutual-Aid/373484552680713?fref=ts

queenofthetrackzine:

This is a message from Migrant Artists Mutual Aid https://www.facebook.com/pages/Migrant-Artists-Mutual-Aid/373484552680713?fref=t

Please read this and then help! There are template letters below the message. Writing an email might seem like a small action. but lots of small actions combined…

URGENT: A MESSAGE FROM MIGRANT ARTISTS MUTUAL AID

This is a message from Migrant Artists Mutual Aid https://www.facebook.com/pages/Migrant-Artists-Mutual-Aid/373484552680713?fref=t 

Please read this and then help! There are template letters below the message. Writing an email might seem like a small action. but lots of small actions combined can create big actions- so please help- by writing, tweeting or phoning or Facebook posting. Please if everyone who follows this blog, shares this post or writes a letter, maybe we can keep a grandma, safe in the centre of her family where she belongs.

You can also go to the MAMA page All Grans Matter https://www.facebook.com/groups/300930176741724/?fref=ts    because all Grannies do matter, get on the page and share your stories about being a grandma having a grandma- or about the lack of a grandma in your life. Lets show the Home Office the importance of families staying together! use the #allgransmatter 

Dear supporters!

Our esteemed member of MAMA and the Vagina Monologues Cast Naome Kakunguwo is being detained in Yarl’s Wood at present, and has been issued with removal directions for Friday, 27th June, at 8pm on flight KQ101 from London Heathrow to Zimbabwe. She is not only a very active, supportive member of our community but also a grandmother who has taken on a crucial care role for her grandchildren and daughter, living in London as British citizens. 

We need your support in contacting the airline and registering your concern for her removal, using the template letter above. Here are all the contact details. 

Kenya Airways Airport Tel (Emergencies only): +44 020 8759 7366 Fax: +44 020 8745 5027

EmailUKres@kenya-airways.com

Tel : +44 20 82831800 Fax: +44 020 8283 1880

 CEO Mr Titus Naikuni

Twitter:@KQTeam

You can also like and comment on the facebook page for Kenya Airways.

If you could also support her by contacting the Home Office with pictures and praise of child and grandmother relationships please use the following contact details and the template letter above as a guide. If you could put your own personal touch to it with your own story of grandmother(hood)...

 public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk; mayt@parliament.uk

Home Office Telephone number: 020 7035 4848/0870 606 7766
Fax: 020 7035 4745

Theresa May’s Westminster Office:

Tel: 020 7219 5206

Fax:020 7219 1145
@ukhomeoffice

@TheresaMayMP

Many thanks! And please contact me if you have any questions!
Anne Connell
Migrant Artists Mutual Aid

Template letter 1 Theresa May

Rt Hon Theresa May MP,

 Re: Naome Kakunguwo HO Ref  k1108941/5

I have been informed that Human Rights campaigner at Migrant Artists Mutual Aid (MaMa) Naome Kakunguwo has been detained and fears her removal on Friday 27th. I would urge you to reconsider her deportation to Zimbabwe.

The consideration of her article 8 rights in the refusal of her asylum claim is that there is a lack of family life with her daughter and grandchildren. She is trying to be the grandmother her culture has taught her to be, and provide essential emotional and practical support to her London-based family. The claim that her refusal is proportionate to national interests is deeply disrespectful, considering the great role grandmothers are accepted to play in family life even in the UK, and the notion of denying someone this important relationship would be seen as completely unacceptable if it were to happen to a British family.

Having lived in the UK for nearly 13 years now, she has not only established her family life but also her private life within her community as an activist, volunteer and practising Christian.

I am particularly shocked that the Home Office made the decision to detain Naome and serve her with her refusal letter at the same time, denying her due process, consultation with her legal representatives. Removing her from her life, especially at such short notice, will have serious implications for her mental health.

 I would urge you to reconsider your judgement, to cancel removal directions and to give Naome the chance to prove that she is entitled to her right to family and private life under Art.8.

 Yours sincerely,

 Name:

Address:

Date: 

Template letter 2 Kenya Airways

Dear Mr Titus Naikuni,

Mrs Naome Kakunguwo has been issued with removal directions by the Home Office for the 27th June and is to fly on Kenya Airways flight KQ101.

I would like to make you aware that she is going to be flying against her will and that her removal is infringing on her and her grandchildren’s right to a family life, and to her own right to a well established private life, since she has resided in this country for the last 12 years. Her right to appeal against the home office decision to refuse her asylum claim has been thwarted by the fact that she was detained at the same time as being given her refusal and therefore has not had a chance to consult with her legal representatives.

I am worried for her safety on-flight. Would you please alert your on-flight staff to the fact that they are carrying Ms Kakunguwo against their will and that security guards accompanying her may be using force and that medical attention may be needed if this should occur.Carrying a person against her will may also compromise the safety and comfort of the other passengers, and the reputation of Kenya Airways.

I therefore urge you strongly to reconsider playing a part in the forced removal of Ms Kakunguwo. It is a great injustice, and as a customer, I personally would decide against using an airline that is carrying people against their will.

 Yours faithfully,

 Name:

Address:

Date: 

 

SPOOKY SISTERS!

image

Hey we’re taking spooky submissions for our super scary Halloween edition, so if you have creepy stories, disgusting drawings or petrifying poems, send them to us………

No One Flies

image

We made a flier for Liverpool based organisation Migrant Artist Mutual Aid. This is what MAMA do (and also what we put in the flier we made for them) 

Migrant Artists Mutual Aid is a network of people who come together to produce community cultural events that aim to promote cohesion and intercultural understanding while raising money for migrants in crisis.  Supporting women and children seeking sanctuary in the UK from gender based persecution including domestic violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Mutual Aid is not charity, it is a safety net that is based on shared values of justice and equality, it is a social insurance that is recession proof, that affirms that even in the toughest times we can stand together to help ourselves.

Some of MAMA are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, this is some information about the DRC (that was also included in our flier) All information in the flier was checked over by MAMA, to make sure we got it right.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been described as the worst place in the world to be a woman: 1.8 million women have experienced rape and sexual assault in just one year alone. However, these rates are 26 times higher than previous estimates; which amount to 48 women per hour being assaulted. Rape and sexual assault has become shockingly commonplace in the Congo, with many women describing it as “a way of Congolese life”.

The DRC has experienced heavy conflict in recent years, with gang rape by armed militia being used as a weapon of war, with young girls and elderly women often targeted. Worryingly, women are not just at risk in conflict zones. A recent domestic violence report carried out in the DRC confirmed women are also at risk of sexual assault at the hands of their partners, with 22% of women reporting being forced to perform sex acts by their partners. Similarly, due to the stigma surrounding victims of rape, women are often forced from their family homes by their husbands after surviving attacks.

Our government is forcibly returning people to the DRC

In February as the Home Office began detaining dozens of Failed asylum seekers from DR Congo for forced return a document passed to the Observer from the government of the DRC that: ”urges police, immigration and secret service officials to be on the lookout for asylum seekers who have been forcibly returned” this simply adds to the volume of evidence that anybody who is returned to the DRC is not safe and as a matter of routine policy will be detained and tortured.

Britain has a proud history of fighting for human rights in the Congo.   Be part of it.  Demand that the Home Office does not return anybody to the DRC against their will.

To raise awareness of women being forcibly returned to the DRC, the MAMA choir performed at Liverpool’s Slavery Museum, who have an exhibition about the Congo. (http://blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2014/05/mama-perfomance-at-the-international-slavery-museum/#.U2t8r7af65Y.facebook) we went along to this moving and beautiful performance.

image

You can get involved with ensuring that women don’t get forcibly returned  to the DRC. Here are the ways in which you can help:

1. You can raise awareness about this by telling other people. 

2. You can write to or visit your MP and talk to them about your feelings about women being forcibly returned to the DRC.

3. You can help raise funds for MAMA by buying a T-shirt  queenofthetrack.bigcartel.com.  (Queen of the Track don’t make any money from this)

If you want any more information about this, or what MAMA do you can keep up with these amazing women via their Facebook page: 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Migrant-Artists-Mutual-Aid/373484552680713

 

 

Zine Queens!

image


Zine love at first sight! we interviewed Liverpool’s other feminist zine: Heroine. We love them so much that you can buy edition 3 of Heroine on our storeBuy both zines and the shipping for Heroine is only 20p. FACT.

So here they are glorious Heroines:

We love Heroine, but describe your zine to our readers in three words!

making voices louder!

 Who is Heroine? And how did you guys start?

Heroine Zine is made up of all the girls who edit, write, draw and design it. We’re lucky to have so many talented women who want to get involved! I actually started the zine as a project for my Creative Writing degree - I only ever wanted to read female authors and female poets because I was tired of the male narratives that dominated our culture. There’s a storytelling structure called the Hero’s Journey, I thought what about the Heroine’s journey? The zine tells women’s stories. I find the submissions we get really inspiring. We’re accepting submissions for Issue #4 at the moment, so get in touch with your stories, poems, art, articles…anything!

What are your aims for Heroine?

To showcase creative work of women in Liverpool and beyond! We just want to be able to sustain ourselves as a zine and keep printing, so we can keep on publishing everyone’s work. We’ve really enjoyed throwing the Heroine parties too! The next one is our Poetry-Palooza on May 23rd at Hopskotch Bar :)

Literature and poetry is obviously important to Heroine, is this one of your passions? And why do you think expression through literature is so important for women?

It’s one of our biggest passions.The editorial team have a joke where if we feel like something is unjust or wrong, we throw a poem or a play at it. For us, writing is our biggest tool to tackle the issues that feel so massive we don’t even know where to start. I think literature is important to feminism because it allows us to both explore our world and it’s issues, as well as create new worlds where things are different. What I love about the poetry and prose we’ve had so far in the last three issues is that the writers aren’t afraid to get political, or make a statement. All the pieces are passionate.

You are a self described feminist zine- talk us through your group politics

We want to see more room for women when it comes to creative work - fewer women authors are reviewed than male authors,  fewer women given space in galleries, and the list goes on. As well as that, we have a vision for a better form of women’s magazines. It seems like women’s mags often just want to sell us the latest mascara or diet plan, focusing on appearance, money, and following heteronormative ideals. We want to celebrate creative talent rather than try and make women feel bad about themselves so they’ll spend more money with the big corporations.

We put our ‘manifesta’ at the very front of Issue #3, so readers get a better sense of what we’re about! To sum it up, we want the zine to be accessible and inclusive to all women. We’ll always aim to be more intersectional, and consider all the forms of inequalities our society faces. The most important to thing to  us is to support each other as women!

image

Has creating Heroine helped develop your political vision?

It has, but it can be daunting as well, because putting a zine together and presenting peoples work is such a solid and permanent thing to do. The messages and words that you print and put across in your zine are out there for good! But overall when we go through the editing process, we publish the work that we feel fits in with Heroine’s values the most.We get submissions covering all sorts of issues that make us see things in a new light too. The article we published in #3  about becoming more ethical had me really thinking about how I could live more ethically too, for example!

Have you guys faced any hostility about the zine or do you find people pretty supportive?

No, we’ve been lucky. We have a really supportive community. A few men have been like ‘we want to submit something!’ which is lovely too, because everyone’s getting involved! We always publish women first and foremost, but if we got a great article or poem that stuck to what Heroine is about from a guy, we’d want to publish it.

Apart from the zine, I hear you guys have some pretty rad projects coming up-what should we be looking out for?

More events; poetry nights, film screenings and the like, and then the next issue hopefully can be released in August. Abi Inglis, a Heroine editor, has been working with Writing on the Wall Festival, and they are hosting some amazing events celebrating women.  The Top Girls series at Siren Café starts on May 7th, and continues with different speakers throughout May,and Funny Girls, a female comedy night, is on May 24th. You can check it all out here:

http://www.writingonthewall.org.uk/event-listing.html

We know you love zine culture- name 5 other zines we should investigate:

1) Sugar Paper Zine - a zine of 20 things to make and do! @SugarPaperzine

2) Cherry Zine - a really new zine just like us, and just a treat to flick through online. @cherry_mag

3) Adventures In Menstruating- We picked this up at Sheffield Zine Fest, after making some red felt period stain badges! a must read for all those who menstruate :P

http://chartyourcycle.wordpress.com/zines/

4) The Chapess - tackles some really important issues with a lot of feeling. Definitely check it out. @thechapesszine

5) ‘your pretty face is going straight to hell’ - like reading a diary! In fact you are reading her diary - which I really admire. Plus, she is in a band with the best name ever. Sean Bean Death Scene.

http://vampiresushi.co.uk/distro/

What’s  the fluffy cat called?

We haven’t named her yet! But her ancestors were involved in The Cat and Mouse Act…  Maybe we’ll call her Jett after the suffragettes.

image